It has been a crazy busy day in my household.
We got up this morning and had breakfast and then walked up to the parade. After the parade we came home and it wasn't long before my sister and her 3 kids (ages 3, 5, and 7) showed up. The kids all played in the pool and inside, more inside than out due to the temperature topping out at 97 with a heat index of 105. My brother in law came over right after work and then we made pasta salad, macaroni and cheese, and baked beans to go with the hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats my husband cooked up. I had made cake balls yesterday (sadly at this point I had to really question if it was only yesterday because between working from 2-11 last night and all that went on up until this point yesterday morning seems a very long time ago to only have been yesterday morning) which were a hit with the kids (and my BIL) Then we walked up to the park to watch the fireworks which were fabulous.
I love living in my town. It has the charm (and annoyance) of a small town. When we walked to the parade we saw Jaime's brother, old teachers from when we went to schools, friends, people we have worked with. During the parade Alexis saw a few friends, I saw a few friends from church, and Jaime saw several people he knew. The busy road in town was busy most of the day, but compared to towns with interstates running through them and roads with speed limits of 45 mph and up, it is still quiet.
I love the family owned businesses in our town. We have a Ben Franklin that we have known the owners of all of my life. Their children know take most of the shifts. We have a few hair salons that are all locally owned. We have a new market open that is all fresh produce, dairy, meat, honey, wine, etc from our state, owned by a family here in town. Even across the street is a small mini mart that sells firewood, worms, drinks, candy and some of the basics that don't go bad too fast.
I love the camaraderie and help. This morning a guy stopped at the gas station as I picked up a drink and he said that after the parade was over he would come sweep the parking lot out so the gals working wouldn't have to. He doesn't work there, isn't married to someone who works there, he was just being a nice guy. Our neighbor went out of town this weekend and his dog sitter yelled over the hedges "Hey good lookin' whatcha got cookin" when my husband and I were outside and grilling.
This is Smalltown, USA. Everything I described could probably be found in any state. And this is my home. I feel so blessed that God led me here, to this town and to this house. Living in the country all my life I missed out of learning the joys of being able to walk to the library, being able to walk to a parade and fireworks, of having neighbors who know you, your family, your parents, where you work, and when you should and shouldn't be home, of having extra hands to help out when a project is too big. I'm learning to love living in town, where I thought I could never.
I hope your Independence day was blessed and you took a few minutes to relish the freedoms that we have thanks to the men and women who have protected them for us and thank God for all that He has given to us.